I was at a meeting of the local chapter of a professional organization I belong to last night and one of the other EA’s in tha audience held up a document that looked very much like every IRS document I’ve ever seen. Her client had received an email from the “IRS” with the form attached. The instructions in the email said to fill out the form and fax it back to a 1-800 number. The form asked for identifying information about the taxpayer, including Social Security Number and Date of Birth and information about investment and bank accounts.
It was a scam.
During the tax season there are several phishing schemes that use the IRS and the threats of audits to solicit information. This is the first one that asked for a faxed response. To me that added a level of believability to the scam.
The fact is that the IRS NEVER solicits information from taxpayers via email. If it came from the IRS and it asks for information, it is a scam. Don’t respond. One thing you can do though is report the phishing attempt to the IRS. There are instructions on what to do at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing or send information to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Don’t let scammers take advantage of you.